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When you don’t have the time for visuals

Sometimes you don´t have the time to create a proper visualizations. Or need drawings to scale so measurements can be taken from them

So, for that times when you still need to have a proper drawing, but want to communicate how it would look in the end, I use a technique called matte painting with Photoshop.

This would be the original cad drawing from a pdf printed from AutoCAD


First, I start by adding a background sky (and it really set the mood of the drawing)

South Elevation 02.jpg

After that, follow with the different materials. On this case I used textures from paired with transparency masks.

Tips: Here I had to use two diferenc colours for the bricks, so instead of trying to find two differents matching textures I looked for one with the brick bond I wanted and then fixed the colours on Photoshop. Also, careful with the scaling!


At first I used solid colours for the glass. That was a mistake, and I did not realize that until the very end. So, instead or solid colour, please apply a lovely gradient to your glass elements.


And now comes one of the tricky parts: the shadows. I don´t know any shortcuts to do this, so I just use good old geometry on cad for this. then print them on a pdf all by themselves, import the pdf to Photoshop and start playing with colours and transparency.

Tip: As a rule, don´t use true black or true white, nothing is that colour in real life.


Close to the end, I create solid white fillings for the elements on the background and middle plane, and again play with transparency to create the sensation of depth

And finally you can add your favourite ambient elements, a couple of adjust layers (saturation, curves, exposure…) and that’s it! No render time, and you can print them to scale as part of the project drawing set.


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